Between Pedagogy and Technology: The Pedagogical Affordances

Report
Between Pedagogy and Technology:
The Pedagogical Affordances of
Online Learning Environments
Sarah Schrire, Miri Shonfeld, Zipi Zelkovich
Kibbutzim College of Education, Mofet Institute
The 12th Annual MEITAL National Conference, Levinsky College,
July 2nd, 2014
Theory of Affordances
Tools  Thinking  Change
“tools are more than just something
to make a task easier. They change
your way of thinking, of approaching
a task (and indeed the nature of the
task itself), and can reap
unimagined wider social changes.”
Joinson, A. N. (2003). Understanding the psychology of Internet behavior:
Virtual worlds, real lives, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 2-3.
Inverting the Question
How can ICTs be
used to achieve
pedagogical
objectives?
?
(How) do ICTs afford
a springboard for
conceptualizing new
pedagogies?
Affordances: Overview
Gibson (1970’s)
• Ecological theory of perception
• Properties of environment in relation to animal behavior
Norman (1980’s)
• Properties of objects: The Psychology of Everyday Things
• Design / perception of computer interfaces
Wertsch (1990’s)
• Mediating properties of tools
Chemero, Hutchby (2000’s)
• Explication and redefinition
• Relational theory
Affordances
“Perceiving affordances is placing features,
seeing that the situation allows a certain
activity” (p. 187).
Chemero, A. (2003). An Outline of a Theory of Affordances.
Ecological Psychology 15 (2), 181-195.
ICTs at the Kibbutzim College:
over the years till today
Moodle LMS, WordPress CMS, Elluminate
for synchronous and recorded lessons
2009-14
2004-09
2000-04
HighLearn LMS, Interwise for
synchronous lessons
SiteWise for content presentation,
Mofet forums and internal mail
system for interactivity
The Reported Study1
• RQ 1  What…?
• RQ 2  In what ways…?
• RQ 3  What…?
Conducted at the Kibbutzim College of Education
with the support of the Mofet Institute
Methodology and Analysis
• Qualitative
o Objectives of the study
o Nature of the questions
• Mixed-methods technique
o
o
o
o
Automatically generated reports where available
Questionnaires and content analysis (Narralizer)
Semi-structured interviews and content analysis
Analysis-in-context of sample sites
Shkedi, A. (2004). Narralizer Qualitative Analysis Software. Available: http://www.narralizer.com
RQ 1
• What characterizes the pedagogical applications of:
o each of the asynchronous online environments (SiteWise,
HighLearn, Moodle) adopted by faculty?
o each of the synchronous online environments (Interwise,
Elluminate, Second Life) adopted by faculty?
• Designed to define the real affordances of each tool
(Norman, 1999, 2004)
• Based on the characterizations of each tool by a small
expert group
• (Is the concept of real affordances a contradiction in terms?)
RQ 1
• What characterizes the pedagogical applications of:
o each of the asynchronous online environments (SiteWise,
HighLearn, Moodle) adopted by faculty?
o each of the synchronous online environments (Interwise,
Elluminate, Second Life) adopted by faculty?
• Zoom-in on Moodle (expert group):
o
o
o
o
o
Learning management
Presentation of content (resources, links, etc.)
Asynchronous and synchronous interaction
Collaborative learning
Assignments and tests
RQ 2
In
ways
do do
instructors
integrate
each
of of
thethe
online
• what
In what
ways
instructors
integrate
each
online
environments
in in
their
pedagogical
practice?
environments
their
pedagogical
practice?
• Questionnaire data
• Automatically generated reports of course sites
developed on Moodle (2010-2013)
• In-depth semi-structured interviews with 14 instructors
Asynchronous Activity Types Reported
0
Scanned documents
Instruction Pages
Worksheets
Internet Links
Presentations
Individual assignments
Collaborative assignments
Discussions
Media
Tests
Other
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
Synchronous Activity Types Reported
0
Lecture
Student-Pupil Lesson
Student-Student Independent Discussion
Counseling hour
Other
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
Moodle: Zoom-in
Moodle: Zoom-in
Moodle: Zoom-in
Percentage of Activity Distribution in Moodle: 2010-2013
Moodle: Zoom-in
No. of courses with distinctive activity types: 2010-2013
Martin Dougiamas, MoodleMoot, July 2011
Content Analysis of Interviews:
Categories
• History
• Characterization
o Time saving
o Organization
o Encouragement of independent learning
• Personal implementation
o Efficiency in teaching and learning
o Tool as trigger for pedagogical change
o Progression in awareness of possibilities and sophistication of use
Responses to example questions
(How) does the availability of the environment affect your teaching practice?
Responses to example questions
(How) does the availability of the environment affect your teaching practice?
•
It enables me to continue the lesson…
•
To sum up the lesson or open a digital
presentation during the lesson itself…
•
To call up texts
•
It provides opportunities for the
student who is reluctant about
speaking – to write
•
One need not be dependent on
catching a student in the corridor
since one can raise issues on Moodle.
Responses to example questions
(How) does the availability of the environment affect your teaching practice?
•
It enables me to continue the lesson…
•
To sum up the lesson or open a digital
presentation during the lesson itself…
•
To call up texts
•
It provides opportunities for the
student who is reluctant about
speaking – to write
•
One need not be dependent on
catching a student in the corridor
since one can raise issues on Moodle.
Moodle is my bookcase containing
• the syllabus
• materials that can be readily
available to the learners
Moodle Zoom-In:
Responses to example questions
(How) does the availability of the environment affect your teaching practice?
•
It enables me to continue the lesson…
•
To sum up the lesson or open a digital
presentation during the lesson itself…
Moodle is my bookcase containing
• the syllabus
• materials that can be readily
available to the learners
•
I had to create a new course and I had the
•
To call up texts
•
It provides opportunities for the
Moodle topical division helped me to
student who is reluctant about
conceptualize the topics.
speaking – to write
•
Moodle [interface] in front of my eyes. The
•
Over the years [using online environments],
One need not be dependent on
I’ve learned that I have to write precisely
catching a student in the corridor
what I want to say. In the online
since one can raise issues in Moodle.
environment, there is no place for
correction.
•
I think at the computer.
Moodle Zoom-In:
Responses from sample interviews
What changed when you adopted a new online LMS?
The new environment enables :
•
the visualization of information
•
organization of activities
•
focus
•
availability of materials
•
access to online books
•
I changed from dependence on the
content to becoming an independent
content developer.
•
In the past the content was dictated
to me and my role was only to
activate the forums and chat.
RQ 3
• What characterizes the pedagogical approach of
instructors who use similar tools within a given online
environment?
• Two patterns relating to instructors who have maximized
their application of the tools:
o The “constantly searching”
o The “pedagogically already there”
• This observation can be connected to the concept of
perceived affordances (Norman, 1999, 2004).
Emerging answers
• We cannot draw conclusions about changes in
pedagogical practices but only about reported
pedagogical practices
• We have learned some things about the ways in which
the digital environments are / are not triggering new
pedagogical conceptualizations
• What is most exciting is identifying the profile of the
person who “perceives affordances” in the online
environments adopted, who “sees that the situation
allows a certain activity” (Chemero, 2003).
Return to the theory of affordances
Our findings can be explained by the position of Hutchby
(2001) in “Technology, Texts and Affordances”
• Sees talk of the social impacts of ICTs as “populist
discourse”
• Raises the issue to a philosophical level: essentialism
versus constructivism / interpretivism
• Interplay between “essential properties” of
technologies and interpretations of those using them
Hutchby, I. (2001). Technologies, Texts and Affordances. Sociology 35 (2), 441-456.
Return to the theory of affordances
Our findings can be explained by the position of Hutchby
(2001) in “Technology, Texts and Affordances”
• Possibilities for use of a technological object are not
infinite; they are socially mediated
• Affordances are functional and relational aspects which
frame, while not determining, the possibilities of
agentic action in relation to an object
Hutchby, I. (2001). Technologies, Texts and Affordances. Sociology 35 (2), 441-456.
From “Technology, Texts and Affordances”
(p. 444)
Hutchby, I. (2001). Technologies, Texts and Affordances. Sociology 35 (2), 441-456.
Implications / Questions
• Pedagogy: What should our vision be in higher
education?
o Can technology make a difference to pedagogy?
o Should we force it to do so?
• Practice: How should faculty development programs in
ICT integration be structured?
• Theory: How does such a study contribute to our
understanding of the relationship between texts and
technologies?
Implications / Questions
• Pedagogy: What should our vision be in higher
education?
o Can technology make a difference to pedagogy?
o Should we force it to do so?
• Practice: How should faculty development programs in
ICT integration be structured?
• Theory: How does such a study contribute to our
understanding of the relationship between texts and
technologies?
Thank you for your attention!
Sarah Schrire
[email protected]
Miri Shonfeld
[email protected]
Zipi Zelkovich
[email protected]

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